Markets and private sector development are considered central to the recovery of economies and people's livelihoods after conflict. But the specific ways in which they shape this process, and the question of how governments and development partners might best support market resuscitation, are patchily evidenced and poorly understood. The Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium was established in 2011 as a cross‐country research programme tasked with asking and answering questions about state‐building, service delivery and livelihoods in conflict‐affected situations. As part of its broad agenda of livelihoods research from 2011 to 2017, the Consortium undertook a specific investigation of the role that markets, and people's engagement with them, play in processes of post‐conflict livelihood recovery, ultimately with a view to informing policies and programmes that are fit for purpose. This Policy Insights paper summarises the main findings and policy recommendations emerging from a synthesis of the Consortium's market studies, drawing also on key evidence and insights from the wider literature.